Last year, Google was ordered to comply with what the EU calls ‘the right to be forgotten’. This means that anybody who wants a link pertaining to them to disappear from Google search within the EU, can send a request through to Google and it turns out, a lot of people wanted parts of their lives forgotten. To date, Google has been asked to remove a total of 1,234,092 URLs from showing up on search results.
Those 1.2 million URLs came from 348,085 individual requests, though only around 42 per cent of them were accepted, according to Google’s latest transparency report.
These results show a steady increase over the course of the year. The last update on link removals came back in July, which showed that around 280,000 people had requested to have links removed from search pages. According to earlier ‘leaks’, around 95 per cent of requests are to remove personal or private information.
The two most common sites to show up in link removal requests are social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and even ‘people search’ sites like Profile Engine or 192.com. The transparency report also shows what requests Google complied with, these include things like removing personal photos from Google Image search, though the company does decline to remove links to news articles, whether they contain a specific person’s name or not.
KitGuru Says: The right to be forgotten has been a huge burden on Google since its implementation last year, as evidenced by the early issues with complying. Word has it that the EU wants this ruling to extend to other continents as well, which would make things that much harder to handle given the sheer amount of requests coming in already. What do you guys think about the ‘right to be forgotten’? Is it a good idea?